This is what I experienced in my first 24 hours of owning a ZTE Open running FireFoxOS.
Seriously, do people really care about someone taking a product out of a box? I sure don't. Ha! well, here you go.
Well there it is. I used some crappy right-hander scissors to open the bag. While I was taking pictures, googlebutter stopped by and gave me a fuji apple. Then I plugged in the device and set it down on the dish rack to charge.
Cool your jets, bub! Before I get into it, there needs to be a disclaimer
Disclaimer: Through out this semi-incoherent text rambling, I will be comparing my experience with the ZTE Open to my experience with the Nokia n900(which came out 4 years ago) and the so called Tizen "developer" device.
It should be noted, that Tizen is no longer making OS images for the Tizen device that I have. Twice, people have asked on the Tizen mailing list if there will ever be a new image for the device and there has not yet been a response. (yes, I was one of the people asking about new images). Nothing says "Community", like ignoring members of the community.
OK, on to the jibber jabber.
Starting the ZTE
When I first turned on the ZTE, a 'first run' wizard walked me through the steps of setting my timezone, date, time, and network info. Oh yea, it also asked me to sign into facebook, pfffttttt fuck that.
The UI for setting the timezone felt clunky. There was a map of the world where a selected timezone would highlight, but I couldn't use the actual map to click on my timezone. Since date and time were set after the network connection was set up, the ZTE was able to pull some time data from the internet, but I still needed to select the time widgets for them to auto-populate.
After getting up and running, the ZTE needed to download multiple system updates, and each update required a reboot of the device.
The Home screen
- swipe left to right and get a screen of apps available for download
- swipe right to left and get a screen (or two) of installed 'apps'
- do nothing and there is nothing to see other than the time and the quick launcher.
Unlike Tizen, the app icons on the 'home screen' can be rearranged and even removed. Unlike the n900, rearranging icons is neither easy nor very customizable. With the n900 I can put launchers where I want them to be. On the ZTE with FireFoxOS, the launchers are locked into a grid that fills from left to right, top to bottom. If you want all of your favorite apps on one screen, you are shit out of luck.
Since FireFoxOS touts HTML5 as the future of mobile, I expect the browser to be top notch. I did notice a few things while using the browser:
- the HTML5 Range element renders as a text input, but instead of an onscreen keyboard when the input area is selected, the browser displays a numeric input screen.
- it isn't necessary to enter "http://" every time I enter a URL into the location bar. The last I checked, this was still necessary on Tizen.
- the HTML Select element, when clicked, will popup a list of all options within the element and requires clicking an "OK" button after an option has been selected.
- the HTML Input type='file' simply renders a text input field and does not open a file selection dialog when clicked. hella weak.
- When bookmarking a webpage, there is an option to "add to homescreen" which I would expect to add a shortcut to the devices homescreen. This should really be called the "add to the shitpile of installed apps screen" instead. What really bothers me about this, is that the favicon of the site isn't used as the launcher icon. When the launcher is added to the quick launch bar, the lack of a unique icon makes it impossible to determine which shortcut is which.
Aside from the browser, I have used the camera (which works, unlike Tizen) and the audio player (which is adequate but not very intuitive).
All things considered, this $80 device is far more usable than I thought it would be.